Jacy and Abra were busy decorating Litha. The doorbell rang and Jacy found Ezra and Liam standing on her porch. They came in carrying trays of food and flowers. They took everything out to the back yard and helped Abra finish setting up. Jacy answered the door for Aria and Elsie.
“We’re just waiting on Chase?”
“He’s late for everything, he’ll be late to his own funeral.” Elsie rolled her eyes. Jacy showed them to the backyard where the others were almost finished setting everything up. In the middle of the backyard Liam and Abra had built the workings for them to have a bonfire. Food was out on the tables that Jacy set up and Ezra was arranging a place to make flower crowns. The doorbell rang again and Jacy rushed to answer it. Chase was standing with a dozen pink carnations.
“What are those for?” Jacy asked him.
Chase looked down at his feet and mumbled “Abra”
Jacy giggled and told him that were in the backyard and that she’d be out in a moment. Jacy went into the attic to get a few extra candles. She shivered when she stepped in the attic. It was freezing, goosebumps went up her bare arms as she reached to turn the light on. Her hand found the switch and flicked the light on. The room was suddenly warm, the cold was gone. She stared straight in front of her and felt frozen in place. She willed her body to move and turn around. She left the light on and walked down the stairs and through the kitchen. Holding herself she walked out to the backyard, she felt like she was moving through water. For a moment she watched her friends laughing and ready to celebrate the summer solstice. Abra looked at Jacy and seeing the look on her face dropped the flowers she was holding and ran to Jacy. She let out a distressed scream and collapsed in sobs into Abra’s arms.
They decided to end the festivities early and the coven left Jacy and Abra sitting in the living room.
“Are you sure you guys will be ok?” Chase asked Abra
“We’ll be fine. I’ll give you a call later.” Abra tried to smile at him. Ezra came over to them and kneeled in front of Jacy who was still sobbing against Abra.
“You let me know if you need any help with whatever is going on. Ok” He said putting his hand on her knee. She nodded and gave his hand a squeeze. After they left Abra and Jacy sat in the living room in silence except for Jacy’s cries.
“What happened?” Abra asked her. Jacy tried to catch her breath to talk, she opened her mouth but only whimpers came out.
“It’s ok. Tell me when you can.” Abra squeezed Jacy close to her. Jacy didn’t know how to explain what happened. She didn’t know how to tell her about the cold, about what she saw in the attic. She let go of Abra and wiped her face with the back of her hand. She sat up and looked at Abra.
“In the morning we’re going to find that ball.” She firmly stated. Abra nodded in agreement.
Abra slept in Jacy’s room with her, Fay in her normal spot on the end of the bed between their feet. Jacy tossed all night, the image of the man standing in front of her in the attic returning to her. His eyes blank, his face contorted. She woke and sat up, Fay and Abra sleeping peacefully. She got out of bed and went into the bathroom to get a drink of water. She gazed at herself in the mirror, her dark hair matted on one side of her head made her smile. She pet Fay on her way around the bed and climbed back in covering her head with the blanket.
The sun shinned through the windows waking Jacy. Fay and Abra still sleeping. She crept out of bed and went down to the kitchen. She made coffee and called Pete’s to ask for the day off. Abra came downstairs stretching her arms over head. She poured a cup of coffee and sat across from Jacy at the breakfast nook. Jacy tried her best to explain to Abra what had happened in the attic. They drank their coffee and went back upstairs to get dressed. They both donned hiking boots, jeans and t-shirts. Jacy packed a bag with flashlights, sweaters, water and bug spray. They weren’t sure what they might encounter and thought about asking someone from the coven to come with them. They stood at the edge of the forest, at the start of the path Jacy had found.
“Are you ready for this?” Jacy asked Abra
“Remember that quote? A witch shouldn’t be afraid of the forest because she’s the most terrifying thing in it or something like that? And there are two of us.” Abra said holding Jacy’s hand as they started on the path. They walked along the path, large pine trees surrounding them.
“I don’t know where this path leads, and of course it might not even be on this path. It could out there in the trees somewhere.” Jacy huffed.
“That’s just your anxiety talking. Let’s just see where this path takes us.” Abra tried to assure her that they would find what they were looking for. The sun speckled through the thick tree tops, giving them light to see where they were going. Jacy could no longer see the break in the trees that they entered from. She made a mental note to stay on the path. She didn’t want to get them lost out here. Birds chirped and sang songs above them in the trees. Jacy might have felt afraid to come into the forest, but now with nature all around her she felt safe and at peace. Abra and Jacy walked hand in hand basking the beauty of the forest around them. They walked for seemed like hours when they came to the end of the path. A wide creek and a little log cabin came into their view.
“It looks like an old hunting cabin.” Abra said. They went over a wooden plank that was set up like a bridge over the creek. Jacy tried to peak into the windows but couldn’t see anything in the dark cabin, the window covered in dust.
“I don’t think anyone has been here in a really long time.” She said to Abra. They went around to the front and tried the door. It was unlocked. Stepping into the old cabin, dust and mold hit their noses and they both flinched. Jacy dug in her backpack for a flashlight. The main room in cabin was covered in dust. There was an old wooden table with two chairs, a worn recliner in the corner and wood stove in the middle. A little kitchenette over by the window facing the stream. There were some pictures on the walls and they went over to get a better look at them. Jacy’s grandfather stood tall next to the front of the cabin with a small boy standing next to him.
“That’s my dad” she excitedly told Abra. “This must have been my grandpa’s cabin.” They went to the back room, one bedroom, an old metal frame and mattress sat in the middle of the bedroom. There was a wedding picture of her grandma and grandpa on the little table in the corner. Jacy opened the drawer of the table, a copy of A Brave New World by Aldous Huxley was the only thing in it. She flipped through the old pages before putting it back in the drawer.
“Let’s search the cabin and see if it’s in here.” Jacy shrugged to Abra. They searched the cabin but didn’t find the ball they were looking for. They went over to the creek to wash their hands of all the dust they kicked up. They would both need showers. Jacy sat down next to the stream, unsure of what to do next. She gazed at the water and breathed in the fresh air. Further up stream she saw someone glistening under the water.
“Do you see that?” She pointed to where she was looking. They stood up and walked up stream.
“I think that’s it!” Abra said. Jacy stepped into the water, it was cool and went over her boots. Holding onto Abra’s outstretched arm, she reached for the glistening object with her free hand. She got ahold of it and pulled it out of the water.
“This must be it!” She said. Abra helped her back onto shore and they gazed at the smooth ball.
“Rose quartz maybe?.” Abra said examining the ball in Jacy’s hands. Jacy put the ball into her backpack and they headed back to the house.
Rose was in the greenhouse watering the plants when they got back. Jacy and Abra went into the kitchen and put their stuff down at the breakfast nook. Jacy opened her backpack and took out the ball.
“Maybe I should put it in the attic, since that seems to be where things have happened.” She said.
“How does that thing protect the house?” Abra asked her.
“I have no idea.” Jacy said walking through the house. Rose put the kettle on while she watched them go toward the stairs. Jacy went to put the ball on her altar but decided to hide it instead.
“Why are you putting it in there?” Abra asked as Jacy put the ball into a wooden box that was sitting on the floor next to her altar.
“I just feel like it needs to be hidden.” Jacy said shrugging.
“I’m going to go shower, that cabin was so dusty.” Abra said as she went back downstairs. Jacy put the box under the table and put a few blankets on top of it. She sat back on her feet and looked around the attic. She grabbed her crystals and candles from the altar and made a circle around her on the floor. She lit the candles calling on the four directions. She lit sage and placed it in her abalone shell in front of her in the circle. She sat in the circle, closed her eyes and tried to clear her mind. Only thinking of her grandma. She said out loud.
Here these words
Hear my cry
Spirit from the other side
Come to me
I summon thee
Cross now the Great Divide
She sat in silence with her eyes closed, visualizing her grandma. A gentle breeze brushed her cheek, almost as though someone had barely blown at her. She opened her mouth to speak but was startled with a loud crash. Her eyes shot open and she rushed downstairs. Rose was cleaning up a pot of soup that had fallen on the floor.
“I’m sorry dear, it was like it jumped off the stove!” Rose said to Jacy.
“It’s ok, let me help.”
“Everything ok in here?” Abra asked coming into the kitchen with a towel around the back of her neck.
“I just haven’t been myself today.” Rose said.
“I hope you’re not getting sick. But maybe you should go home and rest.” Jacy told her. “We can handle dinner on our own.”
“I’ll make pasta.” Abra offered. Rose smiled at Abra and gave Jacy’s arm a squeeze and then left.
“What happened?” Abra asked.
“I don’t know. I was in the attic trying to communicate with grandma, I felt her and then I heard the crash and came down her to find Rose cleaning up the soup.”
“Maybe someone or something didn’t want you talking to her?”
Abra made them spaghetti and they ate in the living room sitting on the floor. They talked mulled over ideas about what the ball is and how it works. Jacy’s phone rang, a number she didn’t recognize came up on the screen. She hesitated and then answered. Morgan was on the other end of the call.
“That was Morgan, Ezra’s brother. He wants to get coffee this weekend.” Jacy told Abra.
“Ooo, well then, I will find something else to do.” Abra winked at her and they clinked their wine glasses.